116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A judge on Monday agreed with another judge's ruling that allowed prosecutors to change a misdemeanor charge to a felony against Mary Beth Haglin, a former Washington High substitute teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Haglin, 24, of Cedar Rapids, was initially charge with sexual exploitation by a school employee, an aggravated misdemeanor, in August, but the charge and trial information was amended in September to felony sexual exploitation by a school employee. Haglin is accused of having the sexual relationship with the student from Jan. 1 to May 17 of this year.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Ian Thornhill approved amending the charge in November.
Judge Kevin McKeever on Monday said according to the rules of criminal procedure, the prosecutors could amend the charge.
McKeever and the attorneys in the case did not have a pretrial hearing in open court Monday, but McKeever set a hearing for Tuesday to take up any pending motions.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Heidi Carmer argued in her motion regarding the amended charge that new evidence came to light after Haglin participated in a series of local newspaper and local and national television interviews in which she gave details on the length of her relationship with the student and the number of times they had sex. Carmer argued that some of the information wasn't known at the time Haglin was initially charged with the misdemeanor.
Haglin's lawyer, Katie Frank argued in her motion that any admissions are not new evidence, only 'cumulative,” which prosecutors knew about in June. She also argued the defense wasn't given a chance to resist the amended charge.
The trial, which was moved by a judge to Tama County based on pretrial publicity, is to start Monday in Toledo.